Casual fans likely aren’t counting down the days until UFC Fight Night 61 this weekend, but hardcore observers are probably excited about several fights on the card, including Michael Johnson vs. Edson Barboza.
After all, not only does the bout feature two, top 15 lightweight contenders, but stylistically speaking, it has a lot of promise. Barboza is widely regarded to be one of the promotion’s best and most dangerous strikers at 155 (ask Terry Etim), and Johnson has also showcased some pretty nasty hands in his last few outings (see bout with Gleison Tibau).
Well, recently both men spoke with MMA Junkie.com about their upcoming fight, and not surprisingly, they don’t see things exactly the same way. For example, while discussing the match-up, Barboza argued that “I work very hard at my speed, and I believe I’m way faster.”
Now, when Johnson was informed of Barboza’s comments, “The Menace” responded with the following:
“That’s the funniest thing ever if he thinks he’s faster than me,” Johnson said. “His kicks might be a little faster, but his hands aren’t faster than mine. His movements aren’t faster than mine. His head movement isn’t faster than mine.
“It’s no comparison if you ask me. He’s going to be really surprised once we start exchanging punches and I start moving around on him and he can’t find me. He’s going to start second-guessing that comment he made.”
That’s quite the response no? It will be fascinating to see how this fight unfolds, and who in fact is quicker to the punch and or kick. Johnson and his stand-up game has certainly impressed in his last three outings, which includes victories over Joe Lauzon, Melvin Guillard and the aforementioned Tibau.
Barboza, on the other hand, just outscored Bobby Green for the unanimous decision victory, who is also incredibly mobile and unpredictable. Before that, the vaunted kickboxer put away Evan Dunham in the opening round.
If you need a refresher, Johnson is currently ranked #12 in the UFC’s lightweight division and Barboza is sitting at #6. This fight could steal the show.
UFC FN 61 will go down in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Sunday night.